How to Use Colored Pencils and Graphite Pencils for every Beginners

Colored Charcoal Pencils

Have you been willing to take the paper and pencil for giving your imagination wings lately? However, finding the right pencil and colored pencil materials is a difficult process for the beginners.

In order to drive away the dilemma, you should start with colored charcoal pencils and graphite pencils for sketching. So, here’s to our guide to choosing the appropriate pencil and paper to have a strong start.

Starting with Colored Graphite Pencils

The beginner colored pencils are generally made of graphite and they are classified as per the harshness. Generally, the range varies between 2H and 6B.

The ‘H’ beside the number denotes the hardness of the pencil and the hardest pencil will have the highest number mentioned. Additionally, the ‘B’ beside the number refers to the softness of the lead and the softest lead has the highest number written.

The graphite ones work slower than the colored charcoal pencils but they do not get smudged very easily. Moreover, it is a basic drawing tool for every beginner but the completely covered parts tend to get shiny.

Working with the Colored Pencil Materials

The prime material of the colored graphite pencils is carbon. Carbon is the main component of lead and graphite is a part of carbon.

Graphite goes well with smooth paper and it is appropriate with quick sketches and small drawings.

The colored graphite pencils are perfect for stippling through which you can add the small lines or dashes.

This technique is also utilized for making portraits and drawing the iris of eyes along with other minute facial features. Thus, you can easily cover the hard areas in a smooth way.

Getting to Know the Colored Charcoal Pencils

Similar to colored graphite pencils, the main component of the colored charcoal pencils is carbon. Charcoal is made by burning wood and the ultimate substance of burning is used for drawing.

The colored pencil materials of this type of pencil are primarily available in powder and can leave the textured surface. Beginners can benefit from the colored charcoal pencils and willow charcoal or soft vine can well on a good paper.

This type of pencils is soft and helps you in creating rich and deep colors. Usually, colored charcoal pencils are utilized for impressionist art and quick sketches.

Utilizing Beginner Charcoal Pencils

The charcoal pencil is available in hard, medium, and soft consistencies and the hard charcoal can give you light value. If you use the soft charcoal, you can spread and blend it easily and nicely giving you a smooth coverage just like oil paint.

The colored charcoal pencils are efficient for highlighting and lightning and a kneaded eraser is an effective tool to use. Also, unlike the graphite pencil, a charcoal pencil is difficult to work on the road.

The powdery material may be messy and you should be careful about a convenient location for working with the colored charcoal pencils. Also, scumbling is one of the common techniques to be used with charcoal and here, you move the pencil in circular and small motions. This technique is great for adding texture and depth to the work.

Choosing the Right Paper Matters

Before selecting the suitable for the colored charcoal pencils or the graphite ones, understand the characteristics.

The paper charcoal work must have a durable surface and the charcoal dust can improve the drawing with a kneaded eraser. On the contrary, for the colored graphite pencils, you can use a bristol board which should be super smooth, tough, and strong at the same time.

In addition to the context, you can work with the acid-free paper which comes with neutral pH-level 7. However, if you wish to design overlapping images, the semi-transparent papers play an important role.

Colorful Papers

Beginner Colored Pencils

You can use the black paper for the colored charcoal pencils that can add drama to the sketch. In addition to the context, the blue paper makes a classic choice for this type of pencils and this paper was popularized by the Renaissance artists.

However, the white paper can never beat the impact of the charcoal pencils and they leave bold and gestural lines. Gray paper with a blend of black and white shade can mark a significant visual appeal.

Tips for Using Colored Graphite Pencils

You can start by making a color chart of all the colors and keep the different shades of colored charcoal pencils in certain rows. Then you can create a chart and use the white pencil on the colors for gaining a variety of shades.

There are other ways that you should know about making the best out of colors.

  • Use Different Surfaces

Buy different papers such as watercolor paper and velour paper so that you can get a clear concept of how the colored graphite pencils turn out on the multiple surfaces. In addition to the context, the colored paper can add additional shade to your work.

  • Create another Shade

In case, if you are up for making another color, you can mix the shades of two colored charcoal pencils and merge them with your finger top. Additionally, you can do the mixing with a paper stump.

Sharp the Beginner Colored Pencils

At the time of sharpening the pencil, hold the pencil in a straight way without putting pressure on the top. In this way, the colored charcoal pencils do not crumble while getting sharpened.

Highlights and Colored Graphite Pencils

For highlighting, you can use the common colored pencil materials like a craft knife for scraping back to the shade. A white pencil can also be utilized for creating a highlight and lightening tone.


It is essential to touch the paper while shopping to understand the surface and imagine how the tones of the colored graphite pencils may turn out.

The paper size is not a problem while finding the paper for colored charcoal pencils yet the level of absorption is not a matter of concern. Hence, bear the tips in mind and choose the paper carefully for playing with the colored pencils and see your masterpiece turn out just the way you desire.


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